Do you enjoy wine? Would you enjoy an opportunity to sample various wines along with other enthusiasts? You might want to give serious consideration to joining one of Western Colorado's various wine clubs.

Last night (Thursday, September 19) I played with the Bill Richardson Trio for the High Altitude Wine Club at Colterris on E 1/2 Road in Palisade. The event was incredible. Patrons enjoyed a wide selection of wines, live Jazz, incredible scenery, and an overall fantastic evening.

While I'm certainly not a wine aficionado, I do enjoy the occasional glass. In recent years, it's about the only alcohol I enjoy. My vintage of choice is typically the $4.99 a bottle stuff you get on special at one of the area liquor super-stores. Even with my modest, or more accurately, cheap tastes, even I can appreciate a fine bottle of wine.

Let me provide you a rundown of the evening's events. The fun started at 6 p.m. with wine and hor douvres. Wine could be obtained in bottles or by the glass. Music with the Bill Richardson Trio started promptly at 6. By 7 p.m. the place was packed. You could enjoy seating inside, at the "bar," on the patio, the gazebo, or in the courtyard. Eventually, the sun set, the temperature dropped, and people hit the makeshift dance floor. The evening ended at 9 p.m.

Along the way, guests had the chance to enjoy several different wine samples. Check out the photo below. That's only a partial selection.

Waylon Jordan

According to the Colterris webpage:

As a HIGH Altitude Wine Club Member, you will receive 4 seasonal wine offerings per year, pre-release notifications of new vintages, complimentary wine tastings, special events, wine and merchandise discounts, and more!

Okay, so that's the Colterris wine club. Other Western Colorado wineries offer clubs as well. Grande River Vineyards has an excellent club. Looking at their webpage, though, I see nothing suggesting they host events such as the one I attended last night.

Another winery's club, Maison la Belle Vie, hosts special events as well. According to their webpage, "You receive notice of special events throughout the year at Maison La Belle Vie and receive discounts on special ‘Wine Club Only’ Events throughout the year." I like to keep an eye on local band schedules, and I frequently see music acts performing at this winery.

Okay, so with that having been said, here are my top five reasons why you should join one of these clubs:

  • This is a chance to enjoy LOCAL wine, produced right here in your own backyard
  • Many wineries encourage their club members to come to the winery, to enjoy everything that the winery has to offer, in addition to the wines. This means you might be spending time with many of the hospitality staff, production staff, or perhaps the family. (Thanks to corleyfamilynapavalley.com)
  • Events such as the one I played last night are simply fantastic. Food, wine, fun, music... all on a Thursday night, right here in Western Colorado
  • Joining a wine club can also give you access to great library and small-production wines that the general public doesn't even know about. (Thanks again to corleyfamilynapavalley.com)
  • Be the first to know. When a local winery produces a new product, you can be among the first to try it. Wouldn't it be cool to be the one who tells all your friends about the fascinating new wine you discovered?

I truly had fun last night. If that's what wine clubs do, then I'm going to give serious thought to joining. I haven't looked into prices yet, but I can't help but think it would be worth it. Most wine clubs offer discounts, bringing the overall cost closer to the oh-so-cheap prices I am accustomed to paying. Look into these clubs. If not you, then perhaps as a gift idea.